It wasn’t the Big Three, but the Brooklyn Nets certainly felt good about having two of their top three players on the court for Game 5 of their second-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.
Kevin Durant led the way with an all-time playoff performance, and James Harden served a valuable role after seeing his game status upgraded three times over the course of the day — from “out” to “doubtful” to “questionable” before eventually playing a whopping 45 minutes. Harden has been dealing with tightness in his right hamstring and hadn’t played since the first minute of Game 1 of the Bucks series.
The series next heads to Milwaukee, and the Nets, now with a 3-2 series lead after their 114-108 win on Tuesday, have two days to rest up ahead of Game 6 at Fiserv Forum. The key questions surrounding the Nets concern the health of their Big Three. How will Durant and Harden respond to massive workloads on Tuesday? Will Kyrie Irving be able to return from his sprained ankle?
One NBA analyst weighed in by posing what could only be described as a baffling solution.
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Reggie Miller Has Controversial Take on Battered Nets
After Durant led the Nets to their Game 5 win by becoming the first player in NBA history to have 45 pints, 15 rebounds and 10 assists in a playoff game, TNT’s Reggie Miller weighed in with a controversial take on where the Nets go from here.
Miller, the former Indiana Pacers star, drew about 2,000 comments and 4,500 quote tweets in 40 minutes after firing off his tweet.
“I’m just going to throw this out there to see what the responses will be,” Miller began, innocently enough. “If your Steve Nash and the Nets, would you sit James Harden AND Kevin Durant in Game 6 because of the heavy minutes tonight, and push all your chips to the center of table for Game 7??”
To no real surprise, Twitter users blasted Miller with an avalanche of comments that were best summed up by user @nscoo98, who tweeted: “Mr. Miller, With all due respect, the hell is this?”
There was a lot of that type of reaction from the Twittersphere.
Even two-time NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas, who last played for the New Orleans Pelicans earlier this year, felt compelled to respond.
One Twitter user turned the tables, asking Miller how he’d respond to sitting a Game 6 in anticipation of a Game 7.
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Harden Chimes in After Heavy Workload
Harden, playing at less than 100 percent, certainly was at his most effective against the Bucks on Tuesday. He scored only five points on 1-of-10 shooting in his 45 minutes, adding eight assists and six rebounds.
His impact was bigger than what showed up on the stat sheet, though.
“In the stat sheet, it may not look like it was great, but just his energy, his talk, his communication throughout the whole game was on point,” Durant said afterward, via SNY.
Harden, who began the day as a long shot to suit up at all, was determined to play in this one.
“I woke up and I was like, ‘You know what? Let’s go,'” he said, via ESPN’s Malika Andrews.
Harden said his work load was “a lot” but “I’m build for it,” according to Andrews, who added Harden said he plans to get treatment and give it another go in Game 6.